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UFO/UFC on Roosevelt

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There is an intriguing looking take-out place on Roosevelt at around 72nd Street. Both times I walked by my baby was in the middle of a 'get me home quick mom' sort of tantrum (sick of my long treks to Aubergine from Jackson Heights, I imagine) and I didn't get to check it out. Anyone know what it is?

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  1. I haven't tried it yet but it's a chicken place. It stands for, get ready, Unidentified Flying Chicken and has some sort of odd sci-fi look to it. It ain't the best joke but it catches your attention.

    1. OK, that sounds intriguing. Even though it is just chicken, I can't help feeling there will be more to it. Like Star Trek uniforms or something.

      1. Sadly the delivery bike I saw through the window is of the regular chipped paint variety -- they should have carried their dorky theme through and dressed the damn thing up in something silvery.

        1. I stopped in and ordered from here tonight. The owner was there and very friendly and helpful. It's Korean fried chicken, crispy and light, with a choice of various sauces. I had the soy-garlic and it was good, if anything next time I will ask for extra sauce on the side. They use high-quality chicken! I also enjoyed an order of fresh cut french fries, and the side order of Korean radishes in vinegar, which comes with. It's simple but good for delivery in this part of of town. He said they're planning on a dining room downstairs when they get their liquor license.

          1 Reply
          1. re: musette fan

            I stopped by there last night and got a small order of chicken half soy-garlic and half hot. The owner said the hot was the specialty and I have to say I enjoyed it much more than the soy-garlic. The small order consisted of three drumsticks and maybe 6 or 7 wings. All in all it was a good meal.

            I must disagree on the delivery bike...the one I saw was all yellow and black...very chickeny looking.

          2. There's a review about this place in the NYT today. I'll definitely have to go and try out UFC based on everyone's comments and the article.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/din...

            1. I recently got turned on to Korean fried chicken by Polecat's post about Mani Mani: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31881... - so I was pleasantly suprised to find a place right outside my subway stop. I stopped by Sunday and it's great. We got the small spicy chicken. This area has been really missing a food/drink/hangout spot and this place fits the bill nicely. Also - they're applying for their license, but until then it's BYO.

              The owner and waitress were really nice. We were missing the Superbowl so the owner let us go downstairs even though it wasn't completely finished and watch on the large LCD TV.

              Business has been slow since they started, and they're in an odd corner of Roosevelt over by Burmese Cafe and Zabb Thai. The owner said he may be adding some Latin American items to his menu. Hopefully the quality of their signiture dish stays high.

              71-22 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights
              718-205-6662
              http://www.UFChicken.com

              1. I admit, I've wanted to try this place out since I live so close. Today was the day, I said. I'd pick up some chicken for my family.

                I get there, and the owner(?)/cashier tells me to hold on. Decor: Very plain. White walls with a few neon line lights. Waiting, waiting, (noone else on line)... finally, 5 minutes later, he came to the front. I gave my small order for chicken, half original and half hot. He said it would take 40 minutes since there were 10 orders before me.

                "UH, 40 minutes?! Can you just deliver to my house?"
                He says ok.

                I walked briskly home in the freezing cold, in anticipation of my chicken feast and the premier of "Lost".

                What a disappointing night.

                Not only was "Lost" a flashback/recap, but my chicken was delivered 1 1/2 hours later. That's 90 minutes. It takes 40 minutes for my 7 pieces of chicken and 50 minutes for it to be delivered 2 blocks!?!?!?!

                Maybe I would have let it go if the chicken was good, which it was NOT. Not only was it cold, but the SIZE of the drumsticks and wings were *VERY* small. I guess I'm used to huge pieces of chicken from KFC (which I used to think was normal but I guess not...), or even ones I would buy from the grocery store and make myself. Maybe that's why they call it Unidentified Flying Chicken, where else can they find chickens with such small drumsticks and wings?!

                The "Original". OK, so this is supposed to be the "normal" plain chicken. I understand that much. But, no salt? Who forgets the salt? That's all a "plain" friend chicken has to offer!

                The "Hot". Spicy, yes. Special? No. It tasted ok. Maybe it would have tasted better if it was somewhat warm. It's kind of like American Hot Buffalo Wings meets Chinese Sweet & Sour sauce.

                Since this place was korean, maybe I had higher standards. Being korean, I have tasted a variety of amazing chicken in korean restaurants. Unfortunately, this was not one of those occasions.

                So,
                (small order)
                SIZE: 7 pieces of chicken = 3.5 pieces of KFC
                PRICE: 7 pieces = $9 (+ $2 tip if delivery) Personally, not worth it.
                DELIVERY: They need that "hot" pouch from Dominos, Cut time to market rate 30-45minutes
                FOOD: 1-10? 3.
                GO BACK: Maybe when I forget this entire experience.

                8 Replies
                1. re: nykoreana

                  I think this should be a lesson to anyone who tries to go to a place right after a NYTimes review. Sounds like they weren't ready for the aftereffects of mass exposure. I remember when it happened with Sripraphai as well. Oh well.

                  1. re: E Eto

                    It's probably going to be crazy for at least a week - the NYT article is the #1 most emailed article today.

                    1. re: welle

                      Has anyone tried ufc in the last few days? Have they gotten their act together?
                      Do they have a liquor licence? Should it try it tonight? Thanks in advance!

                  2. re: nykoreana

                    I am actually psyched to try this place just the same, as well as Bon Chon Chicken on Northern. I love Korean Fried Chicken, not just the food but the whole concept of downing some beers with a whole chicken, have been a fan ever since trying it in Seoul. If this place doesn't hit the mark, it might very well start a trend, and then, hopefully, the state of Korean Fried Chicken in NYC will improve.
                    P.

                    1. re: Polecat

                      Haha, I think I'm going to Bon Chon Chicken this Saturday night. My sister loves that place. I will definitely compare. Really good chicken is also in K-town, 32nd st. Manhattan. Baden-Baden has great chicken & chopped steak. (baden in NJ also rocks my socks)

                    2. re: nykoreana

                      The preimier of lost was on at 10, after the re-run! And I can't imagine delivered chicken would taste good. A lesson in patience for you!

                      1. re: jeangrand

                        Yea, lesson learned. Maybe I'll try the other flavors when it gets warm, and I call ahead 1 hour... =)

                        1. re: nykoreana

                          Actualy, we tried to go too and the guy at the counter was relieved when we said we would be back to try it another night rather than wait an hour. I look forward to seeing how it is once they get the kinks worked out!

                    3. Has anyone tried fried chicken at HanAhReum in Woodside? I had seen it before there 1-2 times, but yesterday (around 6pm), I guess I struck the peak hour, as they were bringing out lots of prepared food just cooked, still warm. So I decided to try the chicken, since it was still warm. When I brought it home, the chicken was still warm, and I didn't have to heat it up. The minute I bit a piece from it, I knew I found another addiction - it was soo good! And it's pretty cheap - $4 for 10 pieces of (drumsticks?) enough for a meal for 2 adults. Speaking of HAR, has anyone here tried their Oden? I found out they serve oden on Saturdays - looked yummy.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: welle

                        Are you referring to the heavily glazed version that they serve? If so, yeah, I've tried it. It's a little on the sweet side for me, and not crunchy enough, but, yeah, it's hard to go wrong with a lot of their cheap lunch and dinner items.
                        P.

                        1. re: Polecat

                          Actually, I think welle is referring to the regular fried chicken (pretty similar to kara-age or tatsuta age for Japanese versions of it). I was at Han ah Reum about the same time as welle and noticed the same thing, as they were bringing out fresh goodies from the back. I've had those chickens before and they are quite good, especially for the price. And especially if they're freshly made. I find a lot of their prepared foods pretty good, actually. The tofu stew for $3.99 makes a great bring-to-work lunch.

                          1. re: E Eto

                            Yes, that's it! Very crunchy, lots of batter for my taste, but very good. Batter had onions(?) in it. I had it with their sesame/chili/scalion/soy sauce they sell for $.99 (right next to freshmade tofu). The soft tofu/seafood soup is very good too!

                            1. re: welle

                              Great. Something new to try. I haven't noticed this at some of the other locations, like in Flushing on Union or at the 32nd Street branch. Next time I'm in Woodside, I'll keep a look out for it.
                              P.

                      2. Unfortunately the press comes a little too early and can screw things up. UFC is brand new and has to work out some kinks. Give them another chance. Also, don't compare to KFC because they are completely different types of fried chicken. There is no skin visible on the Korean wings, it fuses with the crust and makes is one non-greasy but crispy element. The saucing is subtle in that it's not dripping off of the chicken but gently absorbed. My son and I were blown away and could not have been treated nicer, even though we had to wait a bit. Every new business has to get their act together and the NYT coming early can be a very mixed blessing.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chefmo

                          Press for your business is a blessing. Without the press, noone would even be talking about it right now! Still, UFC's $9 for 6 tiny pieces compared to Hanahreum's 10 pieces for $4.. I dont think it's worth it. The concept of cooking it fresh right when you order is great, but the business model should have included more employees, more fryers, etc etc if they want to make it work. If they survive a year, maybe i'll try it. But my money's WAY better spent at HwangTaeJa on Broadway.

                        2. ufc is good, but bon chon chicken (also mentioned in the ny times article) is better in my opinion, and the best korean fried chicken i've had in the city. tops in the entire region, though, is at boom boom chicken on main street in fort lee, nj. incidentally, boom boom is owned by the bon chon people but for some reason the nj outpost has a different name.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: surly

                            We've had Bon Chon (at the Northern Blvd location)twice; it survived the take-out test, and I'm guessing is even a tad better if you eat it right out of the kitchen. I'm partial to the drumsticks - that much more moist and crispy.

                            Here's an excellent blog review, w/ photos, on Jason Perlow's site, of Boom Boom:
                            http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/?s...

                            Fort Lee awaits.
                            P.

                          2. We went to UFC on the 15th and the service was still slow. The downstairs area sits about 30 and no liquor license yet, but on the bright side it's BYOB.

                            The fries we ordered were flavorful and well seasoned but unacceptably limp (we notified the owner), but the chicken was crispy and tasty. The signature flavors are soy garlic and "hot," and they'll split an order between two flavors if you ask. The original is, as others have noted, a bit bland.

                            I hope the kitchen will be able to turn around the orders faster. Ordering to-go is kind of dissing the crispiness of the chicken. Come with an open mind, bring some beer or soju and don't plan to be anywhere in a hurry.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: larrylee

                              i went to ufc last week.

                              i searched google for a menu and found it here: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bi...

                              as recommended at the bottom of the menu, it states to call ahead your order since it takes some time to prepare the chicken. i called before i left my place, arrived 10-15 mins later, our meal was on our table in 5 minutes.

                              for the 2 of us, we ordered the large basket of wings & drumsticks, 1/2 hot and 1/2 soy/garlic. i liked the soy/garlic better, sig other liked the hot. we both, however, liked the wings better than the drumsticks. it was all very good, not too saucy at all. the right amount of crispy, though a bit on the oily side. we didn't drink alcohol, but this type of chicken is always best if you're drinking tons of beer. ;-

                              )

                              we got the korean radish ("moo" - a MUST with korean fried chicken) and a side of fresh cut fries. i like that they served the moo chopped up into bits - very easy to eat and i usu chop them all up myself, so that was an added convenience. the fries were greasy from being taken right out of the greaser, but they were very good. i was half-expecting frozen french fries variety, but was pleased they were actually fresh cut.

                              i was expecting them to give shredded cabbage with dressing on the house, but it seems like you either get a choice of radish or some variation of salad. typically, the radish & cabbage should be a given at these korean chicken places. a little disappointing that they don't give those on the house. however, i'm sure as a korean, if i pressed them enough, the waiter would've given the shredded cabbage to us on the house (that's just how it is with us koreans haha), but i don't like to overstep myself when it's not that necessary.

                              overall, i did enjoy my meal. it's very clear that the bottom floor is decorated as a typical korean sool-jeep (drinking place). the table set-up, dim lighting and the 2 flat screen TVs added to that atmosphere. i'm curious if this place fills up with korean drinkers at night - honestly, i know most koreans that go out to drink & eat simultaneously will do so either in k-town in the city (32nd st) or in eastern queens (flushing/bayside).

                              i might've liked the chicken slightly better at bon chon chicken in queens (not the one in the city), and i like that bon chon gives you the radish + cabbage. however, i think bon chon is also slightly more expensive, so i like ufc better since it's easier on the wallet.

                              1. re: Linda

                                yeah the wings are always better at these places (better ratios). btw, been to kyo-chon on northern blvd yet? wondering where it stacks up in the pantheon of KFC places.

                                1. re: bigjeff

                                  i get confused - is this the one that is on northern blvd, across the street from kyoryodang and near ihop? it shares the space with a dry cleaners?

                                  IF SO, THIS is the one i like better. not bon chon. kyo chon is the one that i like. thanks for that, bigjeff.